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180 jobs at risk as Aulds bakery shops enter liquidation in bid to save business

An Aulds store in Greenock (Google)
An Aulds store in Greenock (Google)

BAKERY Aulds has put its shops into liquidation as part of a plan to turn around the business.

The family-owned bakery’s retail business is said to be in an “unsustainable loss-making position” due to pressure from competitors and increasing ingredient, wage and distribution costs.

Aulds currently has 26 shops employing 180 staff and liquidators are assessing the viability of selling all or some of the stores as a going concern in a bid to safeguard jobs.

Paul Dounis and Steve Ross of RSM Restructuring Advisory were appointed joint liquidators for the retail arm on Thursday.

The 26 stores will currently continue to trade and Aulds products will remain available in Scotmid stores and other independent shops across Scotland.

The group reported a loss of £430,000 on a turnover of £15.4 million in the year to April 1 2017. Turnover increased from £15.2 million the previous year.

The bakery will now focus on growing its production and wholesale operations at its bakery in Greenock and dessert site at Inchinnan, which employ 200 staff in total.

Managing director Alan Marr, a fourth-generation descendent of founder Thomas Auld, who opened his first bakery store in 1900, said the action is the only way to protect the rest of the business.

He said: “We have invested considerable time and effort over a period of several months looking at alternative courses of action which would allow us to avoid the voluntary insolvency of our retail business.

“Unfortunately, the losses in our retail business are such that the rest of the group is no longer able to sustain it.

“We sincerely regret that a significant number of our colleagues will be affected by these circumstances, and we’ll be working closely with local job centres and other services to help people into new jobs if necessary.

“The Aulds brand is one of the last large independent retail bakers in Scotland and we passionately believe in our products and are absolutely committed to a successful future for this business.”